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Theft from horse riding charity Team Tutsham in West Farleigh

Horse riding gear worth thousands of pounds has been stolen from a charity equestrian centre dedicated to teaching disadvantaged children.

Raiders broke into Team Tutsham’s West Farleigh stables during the evening of Thursday, June 8. Saddles and tack were taken. A number of houses in Hunt Street were also raided and quad bikes stolen.

Club secretary Claire Tully said: “We had 30-plus saddles stolen. They are worth anything between £200 and £500 each and for a charity that is a substantial amount.”

Some of the youngsters who use the charity

Three men have been seen on CCTV footage captured on the grounds of Tutsham Farm and the raid was reported to police.

Despite losing all their equipment Team Tutsham were able to rely on the rest of the horse riding community to provide back-up.

Mrs Tully, 46, said: “We do a lot with looked-after and fostered children and we work alongside Kent County Council.

“Children were going to be turning up in the morning on Saturday and they would have had nothing to put on the ponies.

“The community has been absolutely fantastic and we have had saddles and tack donated
to us so we could run on Saturday.”

From left, owner Mark Finch, owner Maxine Buckby, staff member Natalie Comfort, volunteer Bridget Smith and secretary Claire Tully

Support also came from the club’s patron and Team GB dressage rider Dan Watson who posted on Facebook.

He wrote: “A local registered charity of which I am patron had all their tack and equipment stolen from their base.

“Team Tutsham works tirelessly to give under-privileged children a leg up in life. They give them stability and support to grow and gain confidence through equine related activities. Some of these kids have already flourished.

“If any of you have any spare tack or equipment that would help them get back to normality please donate as it would give them a huge boost.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the police on 01622 604100, quoting reference YY/015195/17.

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